I know you want to stay Kia.
But to add to what Dennis said.
I've seen a few threads both here and on Suzuki forums about similarities between Sportage and Sidekick transmissions.
Now, I've not personally ever had a chance to really look into it (Though I do think a TDI under the hood would be just the ticket). But it seems to be a common view that there are some shared parts.
Anyway to the point.
A company local to me does VW TDI conversions on Suzuki 4x4s and I'm sure there must be one on your side of the world that does too.
So if there is any truth to the Sidekick/Sportage transmission thing....
Might be worth a look?
A link to the company near me.http://www.acmeadapters.com/approach.php
A link to one thread I've found on the trans similarities. Seems it's only the autos though.http://bbs.zuwharrie.com/content/topic
(Seems that whole link to the Suzuki site is not linking up. Might have to copy paste into the browser to go right to the thread... )
Like I said it might not all match up in reality, But might be an option to look at.
Good luck! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />